In this precious and previously unpublished page of her diary, Chiara Lubich suggested a simple way of living the Lenten "fast": by pruning away thoughts, feelings and actions that keep us from living the present moment well, this precious time that God grants us.
Doing God's will. Yesterday, by making a bit more of an effort to do God's will in the present, I saw how necessary it was to cut decisively with all that is past or future, or that in any case is not God's will in the present. The idea of renunciation comes round again: not only the implied renunciation that brings with it the fulfilment of the divine will, but the explicit renunciation that is needed to put oneself thoroughly in the new will of God of the present moment.
This extract from a talk by Chiara Lubich to the children in the Focolare Movement (the Gen 3) chimes with this month’s Word of life.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. In our society there are a lot of underprivileged people who are pushed to the margins of society, and yet there is so much talk about equality. But is there anyone who really loves and is a sincere friend to the poor, to repentant sinners, to people in trouble, as if they were blameless and fortunate and equal to everyone else? Is there anyone who forgives and forgets the offenses they have received?
All the Christmases of our life have been special, because Christmas is special. Yet it is not uncommon that on that day, in people’s hearts a flame is kindled that cannot easily be analysed, but which is linked to that very day, to Christmas. It is the effect of an unforeseen and unexpected sense of security: that of being loved. Yes, because Christmas is the strongest and clearest witness to the fact that Someone loves us, since only love from up above, from heaven, has "forced" him to come and dwell among us.
Young people faith and vocational discernment is the theme of the Synod of Bishops taking place this month. The Church worldwide is supporting the synod in prayer, taking up Pope Francis words at the official opening Mass: “May the Spirit grant us the grace to be synodal Fathers anointed with the gift of dreaming and of hoping. We will then, in turn, be able to anoint our young people with the gift of prophecy and vision.” In 1987 the VII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops discussed Vocation and the mission of the laity in the Church and in the world. Chiara took part as an auditor and experienced the power of the Holy Spirit at work. She spoke about her experience in a telephone conference call.
As you know, I just returned from the synod, in which I participated together with 230 bishops and cardinals of the Church and 60 competent lay people. (...) How can I sum it up in a few words? How can I express the extraordinary experience I had, sustained by all your prayers? What I can say is this: “I saw the Holy Spirit burst forth into the Church in a powerful way.” The synod is a Church journey in which each participant (and this time also the lay people present) brings his or her own contribution, offering their piece to the mosaic. However, at a certain point, Someone acts who goes beyond the individual and the whole, and directs everything powerfully towards an end that had not been foreseen, towards a new stage that the Church is called to live, making it part of its history. This Someone is none less than the Holy Spirit.
(In Lo Spirito Santo, [The Holy Spirit] edited by F. Gillet e R. Silva, Città Nuova, Roma 2018, pp. 94-95 - shortly to be published in English).
"Come Lord Jesus" is the prayer that Chiara Lubich proposed to the Focolare community in the world, in a telephone conversation in 1989, as a preparation for Easter. During Holy Week, this prayer can accompany us in welcoming the Risen Lord in each moment, and thus experience Easter every day.
Dear Everyone, Today is Holy Thursday, a very special day for us. It reminds us of various divine realities that lie at the heart of our spirituality, so much so that when this day comes each year, it exerts a certain fascination on us and it is not unusual for a sense of Paradise to invade our soul. Moreover, how can we not feel our hearts fill with joy on Holy Thursday, a day which emphasizes the new commandment of Jesus, unity, his testament, his extraordinary gift of the Eucharist, and the priesthood that makes it possible to have the Eucharist? Today let us pause, therefore, to consider with immense gratitude these extraordinary mysteries which are so fundamental for all Christians and for us in particular.
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